FREELAND — The former manager of an organic farm in Freeland is accused of embezzling $47,700 from the business, according to court documents.
A deputy sheriff’s report states that the suspect, 32-year-old Topsanna Littlestar, left her home in Clinton, and her current whereabouts are unknown.
Prosecutors charged Littlestar in Island County Superior Court on July 6 with theft in the first degree with an aggravating circumstance, alleging that the crime was a major economic offense.
A lieutenant with the Island County Sheriff’s Office started investigating the case in January 2020 after the owner of Evenstar Farm reported discovering that Littlestar had made unauthorized withdrawals from the business, according to the investigative report.
The farm owner had hired Littlestar to manage the organic farm and paid her a large salary, the report said.
The owner eventually did an audit of the farm’s bank statements and discovered unauthorized cash withdrawals, as well as unauthorized checks that were written to Littlestar’s business, the report states.
In addition, Littlestar made numerous unauthorized personal purchases with the company’s debit card, the investigator wrote.
A contractor who worked for the farm told the investigator that he was alarmed by Littlestar’s lack of experience, her problematic management skills and her possible theft from business accounts, the report says.
The contractor alerted the farm owner, who initiated the audit.
The investigator tried repeatedly to meet with Littlestar, but she never came in. At one point her BMW SUV was seen at her home, but police were unable to locate her. She wrote in an email to the sheriff’s office that the alleged theft was a civil matter that needs to be settled in small claims court, records show.
This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sister publication to The Herald.